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Research shows increase in project finance

NCE sister title Infrastructure Journal’s 2010 league tables has revealed the extent of the bounce-back in project finance in 2010 – with banklending up 37.5 per cent on 2009 across all sectors.

The headline finding is that total volume of project finance in 2010, at US$242bn (£152bn), exceeded the level seen in 2006 (£139bn) – a bumper year for a market on its way to a record high in 2007, at £195bn.

Almost all sectors were significantly up on 2009’s result, and the banks heading up the Global MLA League Table for 2010 have had to perform strongly over multiple sectors to retain their positions.

The biggest deals of the year were in the energy sphere. The £11.3bn PNG LNG deal topped the charts, with the Saudi Arabia’s Jubail refinery second and the first phase of Europe’s Nord Stream gas pipeline project third.

Top lender is France’s BNP Paribas having lent more than £6.28bn in 76 project finance deals – giving it a market share of almost 7 per cent. The bank was top lender in the Power and Social Infrastructure sectors, took second spot in the Oil & Gas and Telecoms sectors, and was in third place in the Transport sector.

In second place is BNP’s long-time rival Credit Agricole, lending to just one deal fewer with 75 transactions and taking 4.75 per cent market share. It was the top lender in Oil & Gas and second only to BNP in Power. Société Générale rounded out an all-French top three, lending £3.6bn and taking a little less than 4 per cent market share, also thanks to a strong performance in the energy sectors.

By contrast, a whopping £1.26bn of BNP Paribas’ lending came in one deal – underwriting the Flemish schools PPP, a project to which the bank also contributed more than £628M in equity.

In the Transport sector, BNP’s lending was five times the size it was in 2009 – making it the only non-Spanish bank in the top four in that sector. BNP lent big on deals as diverse as Italy’s Quadrilatero Il Lotto motorways refinancing, HS1 in the UK, the A15 motorway in the Netherlands and the Sydney Airport refinancing deal.

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